Entries Tagged 'Elections' ↓

Over $35k raised for Sioux Falls School Board Race

When I hear things like this, I often shake my head and wonder why we have so much money in a school board race;

According to the four pre-election campaign finance reports filed Monday, so far, school board candidates have raised more than $35,000.

Notable contributions include former mayor Mike Huether and Augustana University president Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin giving to Anthony Pizer, while CEO of First PREMIER Bank Dana Dykhouse gave to both Pizer and Marc Murren.

I find it troubling that a position that pays very little has so much money going towards the race. When it comes to money in races like this, in which probably around 5-10% of qualified voters will even cast a ballot you have to wonder what the donors are trying to buy, especially in a district in which almost half of the students are on FREE or reduced lunches and many are living in poverty. Wouldn’t the $35k be more useful towards the food banks or youth mentorship programs?

The only thing the school board has successfully really accomplished over the past few years is higher taxes. I will admit that we do have a pretty good public school system in Sioux Falls when compared to the rest of the country, but I also think the school board needs to work on efficiency when it comes to how our money is spent.

I hope more people vote, but when you only have ‘voting centers’ in the Southern part of the city, we know how this rolls.

I am glad that many candidates are running, and that is one positive. I still have only endorsed Marc Murren and am still mulling over who my second choice would be.

I’m starting to think TenHaken is NOT interested in a 2nd Term

Many people within the city administration are starting to wonder if Paul is even interested in a 2nd term. Who files paperwork to run, asks for money then when questioned by several media sources if he is running for a 2nd term he blows them off. If he really was interested in a 2nd term, he would have at least put out a press release saying he WILL run for a 2nd term but will make an official announcement later this summer. I still think he hasn’t made up his mind.

He certainly hasn’t been having much fun fighting flooding, tornados and Covid, and from listening to him grunt and groan at the city council meetings, he certainly doesn’t like being there either. I think being mayor takes a person who likes social interaction. I think Mayors Huether and Munson truly enjoyed that part of the job, Paul seems to be uncomfortable with it. If he decides to not run, which is looking like more and more he isn’t, I wonder who they will recruit to run in his place. This could get pretty juicy.

What is interesting is that Paul moved the money he had left over from his first term into his PAC and I can’t find anywhere where that money was moved back.

In another bizarre move, he is having his state of the city address at the State Theater and it will only live stream on the city’s Facebook page. And good luck finding a seat once all the city employees fill it up.

Minnehaha County & City of Sioux Falls officials looking to limit Medical Marijuana distribution

Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth informed me yesterday that Sioux Falls City Councilor Neitzert, Mayor TenHaken, Minnehaha County States attorney Dan Haggar and Sioux Falls City Attorney Stacy Kooistra have been cooking up a proposal with the help of the Municipal League to ask the Minnehaha County Commission to put a Moratorium on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries until after January 1, 2022.

They do have some fair arguments. First off the July 1st implementation of the law is quickly approaching and the city and county has yet to set up licensing fees and licenses for these establishments. So instead of having secret meetings, how about trying public meetings to get the job done?!

While it is fair to say that they can ask for a small delay, those delays are usually only good for 30 days.

Barth told me he would NOT vote for it if it did get on the agenda and also told me he trying to make sure it is not done in the dark of the night in an executive session.

The biggest issue with this is that we have known since November that this is legal and the Governor’s office and legislature farted around way too long.

They need to get it in high gear and figure out how it will be regulated by the state, ASAP, and the county and city need to move fast and determine the licensing instead of having secret meetings about how they want to delay this.

What baffles me is that Medical and even Recreational is inevitable, and instead of dragging our feet we must act as elected officials to make sure this is implemented July 1st because of the will of the voters.

Hopefully we will hear more about this idiotic move in the coming week. I do know that Barth has been talking with both TV stations about the issue.

Mayor TenHaken files his intent to run for 2nd term, but tells the media a different story

I found it a bit odd that Paul still hasn’t announced if he is running yet is sending out fundraiser emails;

A campaign email from “TenHaken for Mayor” was sent to supporters Monday although the Sioux Falls mayor has yet to announce his reelection bid.

In an email to supporters, TenHaken says “Sioux Falls is poised for great things” and asks for a contribution to help him “keep Sioux Falls moving ahead.” TenHaken has not announced his reelection bid and says any announcement is still months away in a statement to Dakota News Now.

“Formal decisions and announcements on reelection are still months away, but it’s also prudent to be looking ahead. My primary focus is leading the City and making sure we remain a vibrant and thriving community for the years ahead of us,” says TenHaken.

Here is a copy of the email;

Friend,

I wanted to send a quick note to thank you for your past support and also, ask you to consider helping me in my efforts to keep Sioux Falls moving forward in the years ahead. 

Together, we have accomplished so much. Our economy is thriving, the quality of life amenities in our city continue to grow, we’ve weathered the challenges of flooding, tornadoes, community unrest, and the current pandemic. Sioux Falls is poised for great things, and I need your help again today so that we can continue to succeed.

Will you consider a contribution today to help me keep Sioux Falls moving ahead?*

We live in an incredible community and have much to be thankful for. I’m thankful everyday for the honor to serve as your mayor and I’m especially thankful for the support and prayers from friends like you. 

Onward!

Paul

*Individuals/entities may contribute up to $1,000 per calendar year.

Paid for by:
TenHaken for Mayor
PO Box 961
Sioux Falls, SD 57101-0961

So while he is sending out fundraising emails, and filing yesterday his intent to run for a 2nd term he tells the media that his announcement is ‘months away’. Of course, he doesn’t become an actual candidate until he receives his first donations, but that may have already happened.

If you filed the legal documentation to run, and are raising money for that run, why wait several months to announce? Not sure what his mysterious strategy is but not surprising after seeing how he has ran this city on cruise control the past 2.5 years.

Marc Murren is the best choice for the Sioux Falls School Board

In full disclosure, I don’t personally know anybody running for school board except the incumbent and I have not communicated by phone or email with any of the candidates.

The election is on May 18th and the Argus put out this handy little Q & A and BIOs.

I like the fact that Murren is a retired educator and coach. He also understands the importance of facing our biggest problems head on with input from our community;

What are the biggest issues you see facing the Sioux Falls School District today?
Murren: Poverty. Poverty creates great inequities for young people.

Nothing against the other people running, I’m sure they are fine folks but I like the life experiences of Murren and think that it is what makes him the most qualified for one of the two seats.

I may change my mind after watching the forum(s) but I think the first choice for school board is pretty cut and dry. Murren seems to realize our challenges, want to fix them, and knows the best way to do that is thru open and transparent governing.

I’m still mulling over who my second vote will go to.

UPDATE: Will TenHaken run for Re-election as Sioux Falls mayor?

UPDATE: A South DaCola foot soldier told me today that they heard an interview where Paul said he intends to run for a 2nd term as long as his COS, Erica Beck, is on board and she said she would stay on. I had to chuckle a bit, because Paul has to keep her on board if he serves a 2nd term, because she is the one running the city.

With about a year away from the 2022 municipal elections I’m sure most people have other things on their mind. For instance, Curt Soehl is also up for re-election as the Central District councilor, but he doesn’t have to announce for awhile, and I think that race will be quite crowded.

It seems strange to me that Paul hasn’t said one way or another if he is running again. He wouldn’t need some big news conference, just a simple press release saying he will or will not run again. At the very least, just to raise money.

If I was a betting man, my guess is that he will seek a 2nd term AND will beat his closest competitor in a landslide. I also think Paul knows the job is gravy train, that is why he pays his COS $177K a year to run the city for him while he makes supposed side developer deals with inside information. It’s win-win for everyone.

If he decides to NOT run again, my guess is there would be a long list of people that would think about running like Huether, Erickson, Neitzert, Jamison and Stehly.

If Paul does announce he is running I’m not sure if he will have any serious contenders, and it will sure be fun watching him debate David Z.

Sioux Falls School District Election information page doesn’t list Election Date

Sometimes you have to scratch your head a bit. You would think if the SFSD is putting up a page that covers ‘election information’ they would at least list the election date? Nope. Not anywhere on this page (It is Tuesday, May 18). They do mention it on this page but you would think it would be mentioned on a page titled ‘election information.’

I have argued for a long time that the SFSD only wants certain people voting, that is why they have NO Northern election precincts in the district. I will continue to argue that the ACLU needs to investigate how the SFSD runs its elections.

Sioux Falls School Board Candidate makes Announcement

Anthony J. Pizer, Candidate for school board sent this announcement out recently;

I am running for school board because I believe in the power of education to transform peoples’ lives as well as our community.

Sioux Falls has a strong public school system that benefits, not only students and families, but our region as a whole. I have seen this firsthand as a Leadership Sioux Falls graduate, Chair of the Sioux Falls Public Schools Education Foundation, and SFSD Boundary Task Force member. For the past ten years, I have been a mentor to the same student with the LSS school-based mentor program. Through this experience, I have seen my mentee grow and develop through all levels of the school district.

My wife, Jessica, and I have two elementary-age children, James and Elyse. They are enrolled in All City Elementary, a Sioux Falls public school that requires parental commitment to volunteering weekly at the school. By spending time in the classroom, I have seen the incredibly talented educators we have in our district and the challenges they face. Therefore, I believe we must support teachers and staff so they can meet the needs and goals of each student.

I run my own business as a Financial Advisor for Thrivent Financial. This has given me a strong understanding of fiscal responsibility and planning to successfully meet financial goals in an efficient and effective manner.

The three areas I believe our district needs to focus on for the future are workforce development, student equity, and community engagement. Because the students of today will work in and lead our community tomorrow, our students and teachers need to have the resources available to meet the needs and goals of the future. Student equity ensures that one’s education, access, and opportunities are not dictated by where they live in Sioux Falls. Finally, our schools and city mutually benefit when community members take an active part in assuring the development of our next generation. I would appreciate your vote on May 18th.

Anthony Pizer
Candidate for Sioux Falls School Board

He lost me at Workforce Development, I want to hear more from him by what he means by that. Whatever happened to giving kids an education that encourages them to go onto to doing whatever they want to after graduation? Whether that is a plumber, soldier, college student, etc.

I am glad he is running though and hope to see more candidates announcing.

Sioux Falls School Board Election set for Tuesday, May 18, 2021

With all the madness this past year with elections we may have forgotten that there is another local one just a couple of months away.

The school board election will be stand alone with 13 vote centers and a strong emphasis on early voting at the IPC. The school board approved the date at the January 11, 2021 meeting in the consent agenda, so there was probably little fanfare. While I don’t take issue much anymore with vote centers, I think they need to make sure that they are fairly spread out in the city unlike during the bond election where I believe there was either only 1-2 precincts North of Russell Ave. I still think this is a form of voter suppression and I asked the ACLU to look into during the school bond election with NO response. They are too busy in Pierre chasing wing-nuts during the annual gathering of paranoid bigots we call our state legislative session (not all of them, just 90%).

School board members Todd Thoelke and Kate Parker terms are up, not sure if they are going to run for re-election, but it sounds like Kate is leaning yes and Todd is leaning maybe. Would like to see someone with a little clout challenge them, especially since Kate has been there since 1953.

Has anybody heard of any names? Maybe we need to recruit Pam Nelson back to the board she got her political start in.

UPDATE: Who is running for Sioux Falls Mayor or City Council in 2022?

UPDATE: I got some more names thrown in the bucket. Matt Paulson has confirmed with me that at this time he is NOT planning on running for council. I have also heard from others that Joe Kippley, senior director of strategic partnerships at Sanford Imagenetics is interested in running for SE District that will be left open by Rick Kiley. I have also heard that Julian Julian Beaudion is interested in running for an At-Large position. Keep the updates coming!

Believe it or not, another city council and mayoral election is only a year from this April. I expect challengers to TenHaken to make an announcement this summer and council candidates in the Fall.

So who is done and who will run for those seats? I’m not sure, but have heard some speculation and rumors.

TenHanken’s 1st term ends in 2022. I am still not convinced he is running again, but I do expect some others to run whether he chooses to or not. Christine Erickson, Mike Huether, Greg Jamison and David Zoikates (He has already announced). While Paul hasn’t been real popular with me, he does have a good popularity rating with voters and if he chose to seek a second term he would be hard to beat.

At-Large, Janet Brekke. My guess is that Janet will run for a 2nd term, but she has plenty of time to decide.

At-Large Christine Erickson. Her 2nd term is up, and like I said, I think she may run for Mayor.

So who would run for those seats? I am not sure. Some names that has been thrown around is immigrant activist Taneeza Islam or Investor Matt Paulson.  But I think there are many candidates that want to run, like Zach DeBoer and Handsome Tom Hurlbert, but they may go after the low hanging fruit and challenge Curt Soehl in Central District who is also up in 2022. I’m not sure if Curt will seek a 2nd term, he doesn’t seem to like the job very much, he’s usually grumpy, sarcastic or both at the meetings.

In the Southeast, Ricky Lee Kiley’s 2nd term is up in 2022, but I can’t hardly speculate who would want to run in the Taupeville district. I’m sure it will be some dull moderate Republican.

I would like to see some changes, for instance in the At-Large, since two seats are up, they should just give the two seats to the two highest vote getters instead splitting up the races.

Tell me your thoughts on who you like to see run or changes to the election like ranked choice voting which would eliminate run-offs.